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Quality Over Quantity: When No = Yes

adrienne freeland business lessons Feb 01, 2023


Have you ever stopped, looked around at your clients and your work, and thought, "how did I get here?" You're not alone. Every service-based small business owner I know has had the same experience. Hairdresser, accountant, marketer, you name it. Learning to edit and refine your business is part of the process.


Early on, we make the classic mistake of quantity over quality. We want to bring on as many clients as possible to pay the bills, and we don't stop to think about the kind of work we want to do and with whom. It takes time and experience to figure out what you want your business and your life to look like. Once you know, you can use that information to build a business that feels good and makes money. 


If your goal in business is simply to make a lot of money, you can take on as many clients as you want and do as many jobs as you can handle. But, if you want to build a business that gives you a beautiful life, you have to start with the end in mind and make intentional choices that lead you toward beauty. Below we've outlined a 3 step process to help you determine the type of client you want to work with and the type of work you want to do.


1. What work do you love?

If you're going to spend your life working, you might as well be doing work you love. Certainly, we all end up doing things we don't love from time to time. But the more you minimize and delegate those things, the more joyful your work life can be.

Homework - list all the work you do in your job. Now separate that list into two columns: things you love and things you don't love. Do you see any trends? What can you release from the "don't love" column to make room for more of what you love?


2. Which clients do you love?

Not all clients are made equal. If there are clients who are making your life difficult, it's ok to move on from them.

Homework: list all your clients and a short sentence about how they make you feel. Review your list and look for common themes. Can you develop an avatar of your ideal client? I love working with entrepreneurial women, so I'm working to prioritize business relationships with them and letting other things fall by the wayside.


3. What is the best use of your time?

You will hate this, but just because you love something doesn't mean it's a good use of your time. I LOVE designing things in Canva, and I'm pretty good at it for a novice. Unfortunately, my time is not well spent in Canva. As a writer and strategist, my time is well spent writing. That's where I see the greatest return on the investment of my time. I still enjoy playing around with design, but I know that it can't be my priority.

Homework: List the top 5-10 things you spend time on in a given week. Circle the things only you can do; circle the things that make you money. What's left? It may be time to re-evaluate those things.


Whether you're saying no to a client, an opportunity, or a fun task that wastes time, saying no is hard. However, when you say no to the things that aren't moving you forward, you are making space for even bigger yeses to make their way into your life. Here at Success Your Way, we believe in the power of manifestation (we're a little woo-woo), which has taught us that when your life is filled with yeses that should be nos, you'll never have room for the big yeses that are waiting in the wings.





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